A POPULAR summer event that has been running for nearly 30 years in Romsey has been cancelled for the second time amid coronavirus fears.

Beggars Fair, which was scheduled to happen on July 10, was called off on Tuesday night in a committee Zoom meeting.

Social media manager for Beggars Fair, Nigel Barlow, believes it was inevitable the annual event would be cancelled.

He said: "It is really sad we had to cancel it, but I think the writing has been on the wall for a while now.

"I have seen on social media people saying 'if this will go ahead', so I think a lot of people will not be that surprised that it had to be cancelled."

Nigel stressed the event would have been a "nightmare" to organise, due to the committee not knowing what coronavirus restrictions will be in place in July and how far the vaccine rollout would have progressed by then.

Romsey Advertiser: A previous Beggars FairA previous Beggars Fair

He explained: "We decided at our committee meeting on Tuesday night that, all in all, it is probably not worthwhile doing, because we have no idea what the Government restrictions will be by then.

"We assume social distancing will be in place in the summer and we don't know how many people would have been vaccinated by then, so organising it would have been an absolute nightmare."

Nigel, who lives in Romsey, added pulling together the fair takes months and "by the end of March or early April" the committee has to start spending money on the event.

However, party-goers may still be able to enjoy some entertainment with virtual performances from bands, but this has not been confirmed.

Nigel said: "We will try to organise virtual performances, so we will see what bands will be up for it."

Questions are still being asked about whether the Romsey Festival will still go-ahead after it was postponed from July 2020 due to the deadly bug.

The event, which is held every three years, could still run from Friday, July 2 to Sunday, July 18, according to the festival's website.

Romsey Advertiser: Left to right: Liz Wagner, chair of Romsey Festival 2020, Anne Jones, festival comittee and Jackie Sparks, Romsey QuiltersLeft to right: Liz Wagner, chair of Romsey Festival 2020, Anne Jones, festival comittee and Jackie Sparks, Romsey Quilters

Festival chair, Liz Wagner, revealed the committee hopes to come to a decision by Easter after reviewing the Government's roadmap that is set to be released on February 22.

She said: "We are aiming to make decisions on the festival by Easter once we have seen what the Government is doing regarding easing lockdown restrictions."

Last year, Beggars Fair was scheduled to take place on July 11 and has been running since 1993.

The Romsey Festival should have run from July 4 to July 19 2020 and began in 1993.